We all knew that the offensive line would have some growing pains. They only had to replace over 100 starts of experience and three NFL draft picks – two that were picked in the top 15 overall. It will take some time and experience to develop chemistry between these players. Three new starters and two returning players showed that, when a strong defensive front brings pressure – like Virginia Tech’s did in Alabama’s 35-10 win on Saturday – holes are exposed and the Crimson Tide’s prototypical pro style offense has trouble getting into a rhythm.
“We have to create an identity as a team and I don’t think that we did that maybe in all phases of the game today,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said, after the game. “But at least we know where we are. We know what we need to do to improve.”
The opportunity that presents itself for Saban and his coaching staff is that he would rather have problems to fix, lessons to teach and time to get the team refocused after a questionable performance than have to try and contain their emotions after a 60-0 win. Peaking too early won’t be a problem for this team, and Saban will avoid as much hype as he can throughout the season.
“We have a bye week coming up,” Saban said. “Certainly we’ll look at this film and make a lot of corrections.”
“If we’re going to have a good football team, we’re going to have to improve as a team. We’re going to be technical about in terms of how we approach our players and what they do.”